The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Lagos wing, has raised an alarm over the dire state of the poultry industry in the country.
The chairman PAN, Lagos Chapter, Iyiola Mojeed told Agriculture Journalists in Lagos recently that the cost of maize, the major component of chicken feed, has skyrocketed beyound the reach of most farmers in the state.
According to him, over 40percent of major poultry farms in Lagos have closed shop as many are operating at a loss.
” It’s sad that a lot of jobs are being lost. As I tell you now, so many farms are widely closed. Many are still closing, and many more want to close because they cannot meet up.
“Imagine the price of a crate of egg being sold at two, three thousand naira. That is way below production cost. And this does not help at all.” Mojeed said.
He warned that if nothing is done by the government urgently, the industry will face a total collapse.
His words, “The prices of maize, soya and wheat – the major components of feed in our industry – have gone to the extreme and they are barely available, meaning that production of eggs and other poultry products is at risk, which normally shouldn’t be.
“The issue of egg glut was initially a seasonal issue, but today it’s a perennial problem and when it comes, usually before, within two to three months we get over it but this time around it has come to stay permanently and this is what we don’t want.
“So we’re crying to governments in various capacities, starting with the local to states and the federal governments, to protect this industry from total collapse because if the problems we’re facing now are not addressed immediately, it could lead to the total collapse of the industry.
“We cannot overemphasize the importance of our industry because our presence affects virtually every human life, starting from the faetus, male and female old and young.
“If the industry is allowed to collapse it would have a profound negative impact on human lives most especially in Nigeria.
“In developed countries the welbeing of poultry farmers are not taken for granted, their Government’s do all they could do to assist the industry but in Nigeria the reverse is the case.
As s temporary solution to the current escalating cost of major inputs in the sector, the PAN local Chapter Chairman asked the Federal Government to grant import license to the Poultry Farmers’ national body to enable them bring in maize at a price the farmers can afford.
“We want government to give PAN national import license to import maize and soya for their members because the existing importers of maize are working against the farmers interest. They’re selling the product at a price over 200% higher than the landing cost.
“We are calling upon the government to please help in subsidizing the msize soya and other ingredients that will help us make cheaper products for the entire citizenry.”
He commended the Lagos State Government for all the assistance they’ve rendered to the state chapter of PAN.
“We are grateful to the Lagos state government. They have actually assisted us in the area of egg laws. They have given us egg powder factory. We have to turn our eggs into powder for making children’s baby foods.
“We are grateful to them. Not only that, they have assisted our broiler farmers in the procurement of blast freezers and Processing machines.”